Heavy Equipment Mechanic Jobs: What They Are and How to Find Them

Heavy Equipment Mechanic Job Description

Heavy equipment mechanic jobs require specialists in the field of diesel repair. Heavy equipment mechanics don’t work on passenger cars or small pickup trucks with diesel engines. Rather, most of their clientele need maintenance and repair on things such as large marine vehicles and machines, tractors and farm machinery, trains and railway equipment, and construction equipment such as dump trucks and bulldozers. Because of the sheer size of the machines and vehicles they work on, some heavy equipment mechanic jobs require that their technicians work on-site. Having on-site or mobile repair technicians is especially useful for construction companies, railroad companies or marine vehicle owners who would have a lot of difficulty transporting their broken heavy equipment to a mechanic shop.

In general, the primary goals for heavy equipment mechanic jobs are:

  • To perform upkeep and maintenance of all types of heavy equipment.
  • To repair any heavy equipment that has broken down or isn’t performing effectively or efficiently.
  • To make maintenance or repair calls on-site, when necessary.
  • To perform safety-tests on heavy equipment.
  • To clean and lubricate heavy duty equipment and machines.

However, because heavy equipment mechanic jobs cover such a large field (literally and figuratively) many heavy duty mechanics choose to specialize in one or two areas of the field. For example, you might find a heavy equipment technician that works specifically in industrial settings, and goes on-site. Their job is specific enough, but would still include a huge range of jobs. An industrial heavy equipment mechanic might have to work in one or all of these settings: a large plant or factory, at a logging site, a mining site or even at an airport.

Other subspecialties of heavy equipment mechanic jobs, which are even more specific, include:

Construction and Mining.  Some diesel technicians only work on vehicle and machines such as bulldozers, excavators, cranes, tractors, drills, and graders.

Forestry Equipment. Landscaping and land clearing equipment are one other subspecialty of heavy equipment mechanic jobs.

Farm and Garden Equipment. Some heavy duty mechanics specialize in the service and repair of farm equipment like heavy duty tractors or even smaller lawn mowers and garden tractors.

Transportation. This could include trains and railroad equipment, large passenger buses and large trucks.

Other Repair and Service Equipment. Heavy mechanic jobs may also call for subspecialists who have experience repairing loaders, shovels, trucks, drills, and wheeled and tracked vehicles.

Government Equipment and Vehicles. Service technicians might be employed by their government to work on government owned transportation, machinery or military equipment, such as tanks and armored vehicles.


How to Find Heavy Equipment Mechanic Jobs

One big advantage to field of heavy equipment repair being so large and have so many subspecialties is that there are a lot of heavy equipment mechanic jobs out there. If you want to find a heavy equipment mechanic job, you must first be trained. Heavy equipment mechanic training and programs vary greatly from country to country. In some countries, like Canada, training can be quite formal and serious candidates even follow their training with official apprenticeships that might last up to 4 years.

In the U.S. you won’t find highly specialized courses in heavy equipment repair. However, many vocational schools and community colleges will offer courses for more general repair. Many of these schools will offer classes that are geared towards those who know they want to specifically find heavy equipment mechanic work after graduating. After one or two years of formal education or training, either a certification or an associate’s degree will be awarded. From there, graduates can seek out entry-level heavy equipment mechanic jobs. While entry-level positions won’t be the highest paid and will probably be somewhat limited to simpler jobs at first, after three to four years of experience, most will consider you a fully qualified heavy equipment mechanic. In fact, highly-skilled heavy equipment mechanics are in demand in many countries. Canadian Immigration lists heavy equipment mechanic on as being one of its ‘Priority Occupations’, meaning that you get high points on their visa point scale for being a heavy equipment mechanic. So for those with a few years of experience, you can even broaden your search for heavy equipment mechanic jobs across multiple nations!

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